God’s splendour is a tale that is told by the stars. Space itself speaks his story every day through the marvels of the heavens. His truth is on tour showing his skill in creation’s craftmanship. Each day gushes out its message to the next. Without a sound, without a word, without a voice being heard, yet all the world can see its story.
Psalm 19: 1-4
I am repeatedly amazed how powerfully God speaks through his creation. Its vastness and intricacies whisper from God to anyone who will listen ‘I created you, I know your every detail, and love you so much’. In moments when I’ve felt lost I’ve walked by the shore and found that the expanse of the sea awakens a trust and renewed security in the one who is greater than I. At my lowest point looking up and counting the tiny stars in the black canopy above reminded me of God’s sovereignty, and all the happiest times in my life have embraced my senses with special smells, touches, tastes, sounds and sights, handcrafted by our creator God, helping memories to linger.
As an artist I’m excited by the extravagant dimensions and intimate details I see in nature, the colours, the patterns, the unique masterpieces and the repetition. I see a joyfulness in the very act of creating and I seek to reflect these things in my own work.
Although my pictures aren’t figurative they are full of symbols and shapes taken straight from nature, helping me express God’s heart to people through my art. I paint, hoping to express and bring something of heaven down to earth; as a reminder to those who know God and as an invitation to those who don’t. I have the privilege of painting live on a regular basis in various settings (from churches to on the streets of Cambridge). On each occasion I seek God beforehand, asking him for encouragements to share with people through my work, then I praise and pray while I’m painting. Let me share some pictures with you to explain further (all of these were painted live).
HOLY OVERSHADOWING, 2016
You, God, shield me on all sides, you ground my feet and you lift my head. Rested, tall and steady. Your blessing clothes your people, what a feast of favour and bliss you give us!
In this piece I have used shapes similar to seeds, pods and cells which represent a person’s soul or inner self, their potential and their vulnerability. I have used symbolic colours, the contrast between the hugeness of God (blue sky) and our fragility (flesh pink), between the mundane (pavement grey) and the supernatural (sunshine yellow/gold). The overshadowing of God’s holiness is represented by a star constellation-type cloud. This speaks of God’s protection and sheltering. He is our safe place and the lifter of our head.
DUCKS IN A ROW, 2017
The Lord directs our steps, he delights in every detail of our lives. Though we stumble, we will never fall, for the Lord holds us by the hand.
Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
This speaks of God being a God of order and detail. As we rest in him, focus on him, trust him, he takes care of everything else. Spend time at his feet, bring your perfume, bring your tears, bring your attention, come as you are.
This painting is inspired by God’s incredible attention to detail within his beautiful and ordered creation. He knows the number of hairs on our head, he calls the stars by name, he saw us in our mother’s womb. The tiny spots of colour and splashes of light reflect the intricacies of his care, creativity and sovereignty. From dust particles that catch the sunlight and blossom petals that fall with the breeze, to the equations and calculations that hold the whole universe in perfect balance.
YET STILL, 2017
Though the cherry trees don’t blossom, the strawberries don’t ripen, the apples are worm eaten and the wheat fields stunted. Though the sheep pens are sheepless and cattle barns empty. YET STILL I will sing joyful praise to God, rejoicing in the God of my salvation. He is my strength.
Even in my disappointment I will praise you, Even in my hopeless places I will give thanks.
Lyrics from ‘Overcomer’ by Lucy Grimble
This painting is about giving a sacrifice of praise. There are times when joyfulness and worship are easy, and times when it’s a choice, a decision. My painting shows ‘bubbles’ of praise rising upwards, one after the other, layer on layer. A pouring of ourselves, a praising through tears (I have dripped paint and wiped it like tears) From the sorrowful cloudy-day greys, to quiet hopes of light blue skies & new-shoot greens, then on to transformation and strengthening joy (represented by the brighter colours of flowers). Blistering type marks symbolise perseverance.
I am particularly drawn to the each end of the spectrum of God’s creation. I wrote earlier about the comfort I’ve found gazing at the sea and the stars, but my other favourite places are behind the macro lens of my camera, lying in the dirt observing raindrops caught in the hairs on a leaf, or poring through my husband’s medical text books at images taken through microscopes. So I’ll end with a poem that I wrote after sketching and meditating on the teeny tiny things that God has made.
MAGNITUDE OF MINUTIAE
Seeing beyond, beneath, behind
Drawing out detail
Calling out the gold
Paradigm of the lovely
Acknowledged and significant
The magnitude of the minutiae
No stone unturned
Extravagant play in obscurity
Intricacy shouts glory, shouts holy, shouts worthy
Intimacy singing songs of love
Passion to communicate
You entered the minuscule
Deepest needs met
Pardoned, made whole
Understood, with purpose
Accepted, adored, aghast
Held in your delight
Embraced in the detail.
 All Bible passages are in the Passion translation
Come see Kate’s art and meet her in person at Cambridge Open Studios 1st & 2nd July (www.camopenstudios.co.uk/user/1083).